A Comparative Analysis of Voter Turnout in Regional Elections

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Elections to regional assemblies have become increasingly important as the power and responsibilities of regional governments have increased. Yet, few studies have attempted to explain the considerable variation in turnout in regional elections from one region to another. This article conducts a cross-sectional examination of voter participation in regional elections across nine multi-level OECD states between 2003 and 2006. It contends that standard models of voter turnout in national elections are insufficient to explain variation in turnout in regional elections and argues for the use of independent variables tailored to capture variation across regional communities and regional political institutions. Our findings suggest that variations in the strength of political autonomy and the strength of attachment to the region among the electorate have a strong and positive impact on the level of turnout in regional elections.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-416
Number of pages12
JournalElectoral Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010


  • Voter turnout
  • Regional elections
  • Regional distinctiveness
  • Institutional authority
  • National identity


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